It's not surprising, it's just nastier than usual.
By Joy Williams on 9/12/2006, 7:00pm PT  

Guest blogged by Joy Williams

Bush's speech yesterday and Cheney's interview this last week on Meet the Press, were the first salvos in their attempt at business as hideously usual during this election cycle. It's still fear, terror, and divisiveness, and Bush's speech last night had nothing new, except that he said there was no connection between Iraq and 9/11 but then spent the rest of the speech trying to convince us there was a connection between Iraq and Al Qaeda. His speech was an example of the politicization of 9/11 that is to come. Oh, the spin, the spin.

What is coming next is an ugly and cynical attempt to scare voters into voting to maintain the do-nothing Republicans in Congress.

Democrats need to be prepared with a counter-Rovian strategy. According to the Dallas Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Republicans are spending 90% of their campaign funds on negative ads, where they will attempt to dig up as much dirt as possible on their Democratic competition. And Rove has a strategy to politicize 9/11. Rove's Fall Election Strategy is revealed at Andrew Sullivan's blog...

"Next week, I'm informed via troubled White House sources, will see the full unveiling of Karl Rove's fall election strategy. He's intending to line up 9/11 families to accuse McCain, Warner and Graham of delaying justice for the perpetrators of that atrocity, because they want to uphold the ancient judicial traditions of the U.S. Military and abide by the Constitution. He will use the families as an argument for legalizing torture, setting up kangaroo courts for military prisoners, and giving war crime impunity for his own aides and cronies. This is his "Hail Mary" move for November; it's brutally exploitative of 9/11; it's pure partisanship; and it's designed to enable an untrammeled executive. Decent Republicans, Independents and Democrats must do all they can to expose and resist this latest descent into political thuggery. If you need proof that this administration's first priority is not a humane and effective counter-terror strategy, but a brutal, exploitative path to retaining power at any price, you just got it."

Americans realize that the GOP is politicizing on terror, and are not amused, so it may be a really hard sell. We can certainly hope. There's only so much of this we can take before everyone starts to realize this Emperor really isn't wearing any clothes.

The question is: Are the American people gonna buy into these strategies again? The "Smear, Fear and Queer" (Al Franken called it that today on his show) tactics just aren't going to have the impact that they had before. Call me an optimist, but I think the American people are getting sick and tired of this kind of tactic and it is going to backfire.

The polls indicate that most American's believe this war is wrong, and I think that most, if polled, would not have terror as their #1 concern, additionally, they don't favor a Republican controlled Congress anymore. They are also increasing in their understanding that the war in Iraq and the War on Terror are two unrelated things. So I think this GOP tactic is going to be seen for what it is, a last minute desperate attempt to retain power, but is going to show what they really are, a party without any solutions, a party who has accomplished nothing positive for the American people in their years in office, and a party who can only focus on fear as a means to try and retain their grasp on power. I think, quite honestly, that Americans are tired of "fear". That dog just doesn't hunt anymore. We still have a gaping hole In New York, and a Memorial to those victims, as Keith Olbermann pointed out yesterday in a brilliant commentary, has yet to be realized. Instead, it's fear all the time, and this has been mainly done by this President. It seems that the Republican Administration has purposefully delayed a sense of closure on the tragedy that befell us that day, so we won't be able to focus on what this nation really needs to do. By letting 9/11 be a constant meme, by not having a sense of closure, by refusing, I think purposefully, to catch Bin Laden and bring him to justice, our country has remained in a state of limbo, where nothing positive is happening to improve the lives of the American people. Instead it's always 9/11 all the time, it's always terrorism, it's always war. And it's always fear.

The President wanted us to continue "business as usual" after 9/11. Well, he didn't accomplish that, because business as usual would have included improving our lives on a daily basis. Instead, Americans' lives are deteriorating, the middle class is being gutted, the environment is declining at an astonishingly rapid rate, nothing has been done to abate or retard global warming, and the political atmosphere in this country has grown more and more divisive, and nastier and nastier. And now the Republicans are going on the attack against Democrats because the real people who are motivated by fear are the Republicans, and when like animals that are cornered, they react with fear and aggression. They fear losing their power, they fear losing their ability to help their corporate buddies, they fear losing the ability to rip off the treasury, and most of all, they fear the subpoena power a Democratically controlled Congress would have. And this is the only card that they have: Negativity and Fear. That seems to be what defines Republicans today. How tremendously sad.

So, even though there are problems with these Electronic Voting machines, go and vote anyway. If you want to have a little more assurance your vote will be counted, then go down to your local election office and vote THERE in the office of the County Elections. Vote early, and then join one of the election integrity organizations and volunteer to monitor your local elections. Black Box Voting has a "Adopt an Election" toolkit. So does uscountvotes.org . Election Protection also has a sign up sheet where you can volunteer to help monitor elections.

Don't give into fear. Then they (the Republicans - and for that matter, the terrorists as well) win for sure. Vote and vote early, and volunteer to help.